CALIFORNIA RIGHT TO KNOW GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD ACT

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12 Δεκ 2012 (πριν από 4 χρόνια και 8 μήνες)

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September
2012


www.sdchamber.org

|
1






Recommendation:

The Chamber Board of Directors voted to oppose
Proposition 37.

Summary

The
California Right to Know
Genetically Engineered Food Act

requires
labeling of food sold to consumers that
has

been made from plant or
animal

products

with genetic material changed in specified way
s
.


The initiative also
prohibits
the labeling of
genetically engineered
foods
from including

terms such

as “natural,” “naturally made,” “naturally
grown,” or “all natural
.


If passed, the
proposition will allow individuals to
sue food manufacturers for
violating the measure’s labeling requirements.


B
ackground

The
federal
Food and Drug Administration

is authorized to ensure the
safety and proper labeling of most foods and food additives, including
genetically engine
ered and modified foods.

Federal law d
oes not specifically require the regulation of genetically
modified foods. However, the US Department of Agriculture currently
places some restrictions on genetically modified crops that are shown to
cause harm to other plants.

There have been previous attempts at drafting similar labeling laws in
California, but none have moved
past

the legislative committees.
Lawmakers in several other states have also been unsuccessful at passing
similar food labeling legislation.

Arguments i
n
S
upport

There are no long
-
term health studies that have proven that genetically
engineered food is safe for humans. Whether
consumers

buy genetically
engineered food or not,
they

have a right to know what
they

are buying
and not gamble with

their

family’
s health. Labeling
lets

consumers

know
what’s in
their

food so
they

can decide for
themselves
.


Supported by:

P
OLICY
B
RIEF

S
EPTEMBER

2012

P
ROPOSITION
37:

C
ALIFORNIA
R
IGHT
T
O
K
NOW
G
ENETICALLY
E
NGINEERED
F
OOD
A
CT


Fast Facts



Prop 37

seeks to impose labeling
regulations on genetically
engineered foods.



The provisions of the measure
are set to become effective July
1, 2014.



State administrative costs are
expected to range from a few
hundred
thousand dollars to
over $1 million annually.



Retailers must demonstrate that
unlabeled food products are
exempt by either (a) obtaining a
sworn statement from food
producer or (b) providing
independent verification.



Allows consumers to sue for
violation
s under the Consumer
Legal Remedies Act.

September
2012


www.sdchamber.org

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2




CALPIRG



Consumer Federation of America



Consumer Watchdog



California Nurses Association



Organic Consumers Association



Nature’s Path



The Institute f
or Responsible Technology

Arguments in
Opposition

Biotechnology, also called genetic engineering, has been used for nearly two decades to grow varieties of corn,
soybeans and other crops that resist diseases and insects. Thousands of common foods are made
with ingredients
from biotech crops. Prop 37 would ban these perfectly safe foods in California unless they’re specifically relabeled or
remade with higher cost ingredients. This proposition would add more government bureaucracy and taxpayer costs,
creat
e new frivolous lawsuits, and increase food costs by billions.


Opposed

by:



Coalition Against the Costly Food Labeling Proposition (CACFLP)



California Farm Bureau Federation



American Farm Bureau Federation



Western Growers Association



Agricultural Council o
f California



Agricultural Retailers Association



Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA)

Committee Discussion

Public Policy
,

September 18, 2012

The committee voted to oppose Prop 37 as a Consent Item.
Motion to OPPOSE Proposition 37 (Passed)

Legislative &

Small Business Advocacy
Committee, September 7, 2012

Brendan Huffman with the No on 37 campaign provided an overview and outlined the reasons he is in opposition
which include onerous labeling and documentation from seed to sale. Prop 37 creates a new pr
ivate right of action for
attorneys to litigate
and will lead to new types of shakedown lawsuits


similar to Prop 65, which requires signage on
hazardous materials and was introduced by the same sponsor. He presented products that represent the
contradic
tion and illogical of the measure (i.e. soy milk is to be labeled, regular milk is not).
Staff provided information
from the Yes on 37 campaign.

Motion to OPPOSE Proposition 37 (P
ASSED
)

Healthcare Committee, August 8, 2012

Dale Stroub, a local unpaid volun
teer, spoke in support of Prop 37. John Hewitt, a representative from the Grocery
Manufacturers Association, spoke in opposition. The committee was concerned with labeling being a California
-
specific
requirement, arguing that
the proposition

disincentivize
s doing business in California, and is overly burdensome to
food manufacturers and local businesses. The committee also expressed concern about the proposition’s ambiguity
regarding regulatory enforcement, and was worried the onus of enforcement would fall

on small community
businesses.

Motion: To OPPOSE Proposition 37.
(
PASSED
)